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Finitude Before Finitude: The case of Rousseau-Bougainville-Diderot

Dillet, Benoît (2017) Finitude Before Finitude: The case of Rousseau-Bougainville-Diderot. In: Lean, Garth and Staiff, Russell and Waterton, Emma, eds. Travel and Presentation. Berghahn Books, Oxford. ISBN 978-1-78533-602-7. E-ISBN 978-1-78533-603-4. (KAR id:39110)


Tahiti is synonymous with a long history of exoticism in French thought. Soon after the publication of Bougainville’s travel accounts, it quickly became rightly or wrongly the epitome of Rousseau’s state of nature, and also led to the development of anthropology before anthropology. In this paper, I attempt to reconstruct the discussion between Rousseau, Bougainville and Diderot about exoticism and otherness, and examine the consequences of the 'discovery' of Tahiti for French thought at the time.

Item Type: Book section
Uncontrolled keywords: Rousseau; Bougainville; Diderot; finitude; Tahiti; travel; 18th century; knowledge
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
P Language and Literature > PC Romance philology and languages
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: B.J.P. Dillet
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2014 17:29 UTC
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2022 21:21 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Dillet, Benoît.

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